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Thread: Anger

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Kind of ironic, no?
    Picky, picky.

    The first line was a lead-in, not an accusation. It was just an explanation of why I thought I might take another tack and expand on the process. Not to say I wouldn't introduce my own jargon along the way.

    If you can put it better, you're welcome to try...

  2. #32
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    Anger for me tends to come out without me realizing it right away. When something starts to cause anger, I tend to annoyed early on for any part of my mind to notice the buildup. Usually it starts to come out pretty strong before I really notice that I'm angry (Since I'm so into the anger that no part of my mind steps back and looks at it.)

    What's strange usually is how after going through a big anger release, the period afterwards is where I think of some solution to whatever the original frustration came from.

  3. #33
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Picky, picky.

    The first line was a lead-in, not an accusation. It was just an explanation of why I thought I might take another tack and expand on the process. Not to say I wouldn't introduce my own jargon along the way.

    If you can put it better, you're welcome to try...
    Heh. Well, like I said in my post, I don't really think that expressing the anger, which is simply acting it out in some form, is the key to being content. I think it has more to do with acknowledging and recognizing the underlying feelings of hurt by way of examining ones anger and the situations that proceeded it, as well as knowing your own personal issues and boundaries. Once you allow yourself to fully feel the underlying pain, without feeling ashamed for doing so, the anger and pain seem to subside dramatically.

  4. #34
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Lots of good stuff in this thread.

    I've noticed a few things about anger.

    1. It usually evolves from hurt.
    2. If I don't acknowledge it, I feel even worse. I think the reason has less to do with acknowledging/expressing and more to do with feeling ashamed for being hurt, as if there's something wrong with me.
    3. Letting anger exist is good, but expressing the pain that underlies it is even better. When you express that pain, you make it clear to yourself that it's okay to feel that way. I think the worst part of pain is feeling ashamed for having it. Releasing that shame is paramount.
    4. I've found peace of mind in depression (which I get when I feel physically ill, around once or twice a year) by allowing myself to feel whatever I'm feeling, quietly and gently. It's actually been one of the best experiences I've had yet (and quite recently). I would imagine the same peace of mind can exist with anger or anxiety, by giving up on trying to change it and coming to the understanding that there's nothing to be ashamed of in the experience you're having.
    I think this is true for me. I do feel ashamed of hurt and anger and prefer to be strong and clear. Confusion is a second strong factor.

    I also seem to go backwards through the process. In most of my experiences I tend to understand why the person hurt me first. I view it from too many vantage points and become lost. I'll experience the effects of the hurt but feel responsible to think and act clearly and from the big picture so much that I lose sight of the most personal aspect of the experience. I end up equally detached and connected to myself and the person who hurt me (if it is a close relationship). I also feel the hurt more easily than the anger, but prefer to experience the hurt alone. I get really lost in the hurt, but also kind of observe it. When something scarring happens I can construct several plausible scenarios in my mind as to the reasons for it and can't settle on any one as the "truth". Anger is a more directed emotion than hurt because it pinpoints the source of the hurt. I think that is partly why I can't feel it easily. My worst pain is like being in a house of mirrors all distorted in various ways. Trying to feel anger is like trying to find the way out. The perspective is too multidirectional to make sense of it.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  5. #35
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    Anger is a more directed emotion than hurt because it pinpoints the source of the hurt. I think that is partly why I can't feel it easily. My worst pain is like being in a house of mirrors all distorted in various ways. Trying to feel anger is like trying to find the way out. The perspective is too multidirectional to make sense of it.
    Can you explain this part a little more? I don't understand why feeling anger is more difficult, considering you know the source.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    [...] I think it has more to do with acknowledging and recognizing the underlying feelings of hurt [...]
    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    [...] I also feel the hurt more easily than the anger, but prefer to experience the hurt alone. I get really lost in the hurt, but also kind of observe it. [...]
    Hmmm. I hadn't really focused on the differentiation between the hurt and the anger before these two posts (although others probably brought up the differentiation as well).

    I tend to blow through the "hurt" portion of it pretty quickly. Dwelling on the "hurt" starts making me feel like a victim, and I don't really want to spend time there. If I spend time dwelling on the hurt, then I get into more of a "revenge mode" where I want the response or compensation from the other person to be proportional to the hurt. But that seems counterproductive to me, because I'm probably not going to be able to convince the other party to value my hurt at the same cost as me.

    Instead, I tend to use the anger to blow off steam, then I can be proactive and move onto the stage of coming up with some resolutions. The resolutions don't have to incorporate the hurt, per se. The resolutions just have to establish some way we can live together without irritating each other: Like setting up some rules or erecting some good boundaries and then building trust by seeing each other adhere to the rules or boundaries. A lot of times, conflict arises in the first place because the parties had different assumptions about where the boundary lines were located.

    I think it comes from my time in the military: There were all kinds of routine little petty clashes, and there wasn't time to hold onto all the issues and sort them out. Better to get past the hurt and get on with working out some way to agree to disagree.

    My wife is more about dwelling on the hurt, and she can go the opposite direction from me and get into a whole thing where she doesn't care about working out a modus vivendi and getting past the conflict; first she needs to extract a pound of flesh from the other person to assuage the hurt.

    Sometimes I don't get where my wife is coming from; I just figure it takes two to tango, and each party was probably equally at fault in their own way (or from the other's perspective).

    But that's just my quick response to this new (to me) issue. I'll have to think about it more, especially in the context of Toonia's post (given that she's the OP).

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Can you explain this part a little more? I don't understand why feeling anger is more difficult, considering you know the source.
    I'm second-guessing Toonia, of course. But in the previous sentence, she said:

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    When something scarring happens I can construct several plausible scenarios in my mind as to the reasons for it and can't settle on any one as the "truth".
    So I read the subsequent sentences to mean, "In some particularly brutal instances of conflict, I can see multiple causes. Anger, on the other hand, is more focused, 'more directed,' and it can't really deal with vague, multiple sources of hurt. So I can't attach anger neatly to the various sources of hurt and use the anger to get past the hurt."

    If that interpretation is right, then it's one more reason to move quickly past the hurt. As Toonia correctly points out, hurt can be vague and shifting and have multiple causes. It can also have tunnel vision and only see one side of the picture. In my mind those are all good reasons to get past the hurt quickly and not demand that the anger or the resolution be proportional to the hurt.

    Pinning down the "hurt" properly can be a real nightmare and even turn into yet another argument and yet another source of more conflict: Who hurt whom more?

    [Edit:] I prefer to just rage and howl at the moon as I please, let the anger find its own level without particularly relating it to the hurt or even consulting the hurt, and then move on past the anger and find some way to rejigger things so we don't continue to revisit the same conflict repeatedly.

  8. #38
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    How do you process anger?

  9. #39
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    I think, Toonia, that you are just too afraid of making mistakes. You seem to feel responsible for too much self-control and maturity, and I think that you don't support yourself unconditionally. Perhaps you worry that if you express your anger it will not be supported or understood, and may simply harm your relationships and drive people away from you.

    I think it's not so much the anger that you must avoid as the lack of confidence and support for your own authentic responses and feelings. Even IF you are caught in an immature moment, as we so often are, it will help you to feel like someone is on your side even when you make mistakes.

    I have a similar relationship to anger as FineLine, in one sense. Anger has carried me into several shameful, embarrassing, foot-in-mouth situations. But in those instances where I was /confident/ enough to unleash my unbridled anger on someone, without fear, I also had enough confidence to handle their subsequent negative reaction. On the other hand, when I am unsure if my anger is warranted, and when I fear a negative reaction, I end up regretting it in the end. In other words, when I plow through like a rutting bull, without second-guessing myself, and with the knowledge that I /will/ be on my side, and forgive myself, come hell or high water, expressing the hurt and the anger becomes a little easier - not effortless, but easier. I regret it much less, even if the response is totally bad.

    I understand where you're coming from when you say that anger is like a house of mirrors that you can't find your way out of. There is no perfect answer, is there? You're hurt, you're angry, you're vulnerable. All you can do is forgive yourself for your vulnerability, agree to see yourself through to the other side, take a deep breath and take the plunge. Infantile though you may seem, negative as the reactions you may receive, vulnerable as you are, if you're understanding of yourself and agree to support yourself, you /will/ be all right, even if you ream someone out.

    It's not the end of the world if you don't look like the most self-controlled and mature person ever, or if you hurt someone's feelings, let someone down, don't perform as well as you'd have liked, etc. You are just human, like the rest of us.

    There's a saying I really like. "The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."
    Last edited by Mempy; 01-04-2008 at 07:49 AM.

  10. #40
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    This topic brought back to my mind a post I made to a non-violent communication group I was part of earlier this fall. I was struggling at the time with overwhelming feelings of externally directed anger that were unfamiliar and uncomfortable to me. I felt ashamed of these feelings and my sense is that the internal tension of this shame escalated my emotional experience of the situation.

    I think the most productive way for me to process anger is first of all accepting it as my state without judgement. I don't value most expressions born of anger as effective, but I now recognize feelings of anger are natural (and can even be productive at times), and I accept that. Even though I do not generally value anger expressions, I still experience that emotion. I recognize anger is a warning signal about something needing to be addressed. I try to accept my experience without judging it as bad or good, but rather assessing whether I find my engagement with the experience productive or not. I try to focus my attentions toward finding those ways of interacting with the experience that most closely reflect my values as well as honor my experience. Admittedly not always an easy task, but at least knowing the goal can help the process of searching out that solution.

    Much of the process of releasing my internal experience of anger is an exercise of Ni, I think. It is important for me in those places of anger to gather as much information about the dynamics and motivations of those involved in the situation as I can. I do find I have to be careful to only take in the actual information given to me without judging it or rejecting it in favor of my own "guesses" regarding other's motivations. When I operate on my own often more dark and pessimistic assumptions about motivations, my anger is generally fed rather than released. When I purposefully choose to accept others expression as it is offered then I can more truly understand their experience, engage with them respectfully, and naturally find my sense of anger deflating.

    Here are a couple of quotes from Legacy of Love by Arun Gandhi that might be relevant:

    "If we were not so ashamed of anger, we could easily learn to channel it into positive action."

    "We receive what we give. When we are disrespectful, suspicious,
    insulting or violent we will be paid back in the same coin. If we
    respect others as human beings, we rarely act rashly or irresponsibly
    toward them, and so we rarely have to say, 'I am sorry'. With
    thoughtfulness and respect for others in the presence of anger, we
    can channel anger into goodness, and make choices that heal, rather
    than aggravate, the divisions we encounter."
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
    ...Anais Nin

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